FAS in Internationally
An Alcohol-Related Neuro-developmental Disorder (ARND)
- is a well-known and well-researched affliction. The extreme degree
of this disorder is commonly known as FAS - Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
The specificity of FAS in post-institutional children adopted internationally
from Eastern Europe (mostly from the republics of former Soviet Union),
is much less researched and less known and is the subject of this article.
It is based on my own clinical experience working with international
adoptees (IA) since 1992 at the BGCenter (Nanuet, NY). In the database
of our center there are over 80 clinical cases of adopted children diagnosed
with a different degree of ARND, who went through a comprehensive neuropsychological
assessment between 2000 and 2007. Over 20% of these children were repeatedly
evaluated over the years to monitor the dynamic of their development;
they constitute the so-called longitudinal cases. My observations and
commentary are based on these data.
Specificity of FAS in IA children
in comparison with FAS children at large
FAS in IA children presents specific difficulties with
diagnosis; characteristics of the "secondary disabilities"
(social consequences of child's primary neurological impairment) are
more extreme; an abrupt native language loss by an IA child after the
adoption accelerates and amplifies typical FAS symptoms; IA children
suffering from FAS seem to have a certain cognitive profile in comparison
with FAS population at large.
and answers about FAS